Kelsey Martin, Executive Vice President of Autism and Neuroscience, Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has elected Simons Foundation Executive Vice President of Autism and Neuroscience Kelsey Martin to its 2024 class of new members. Martin is among the 120 national and 24 international members honored by the academy this year in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

The NAS is a private nonprofit organization established under a congressional charter in 1863. Scientists are elected to the academy by their peers. The academy is charged — together with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine — with providing science, engineering and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.

Martin joined the Simons Foundation in September 2021 and oversees the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) and the foundation’s neuroscience collaborations.

Martin previously served as dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, chair of the UCLA Department of Biological Chemistry and professor in the UCLA Department of Biological Chemistry and the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. As dean, she established programs in precision health and computational medicine and developed a series of interdepartmental research initiatives spanning basic through clinical research.

Her research interests focus on the cellular and molecular biology of long-term synaptic plasticity and memory, particularly on experience-dependent regulation of gene expression in neurons. Her lab discovered signaling molecules that travel from stimulated synapses to the nucleus to impact transcription and elucidated functions for the translation of synaptically localized mRNAs during synapse formation and plasticity.

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